From December ... 1957 to July 2, 1964, Jim Reeves recorded in RCA's "Little Victor" studio (now called "Studio B"), on what was then Hawkins street in Nashville. In my book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story," I have details of the studio itself, rare photos of Jim recording, and in-depth coverage of his many sessions.

The photo at top shows the RCA building and if you look closely, on the far left you can see the front of Jim's 1960 Cadillac Eldorado. The second pic shows an engineer getting things set up for a Jim Reeves recording session. (Can you name the engineer?)

The next picture is the view from the control room during a Jim Reeves recording session. (See Jim on the far left in back). Next to him are the Anita Kerr singers, the string section in the center and rhythm guitarist Velma Smith. Chet is in shadows at right.

As a session progresses, Jim gives instructions to the musicians. You can see drummer Willie Ackerman, and Velma Smith. Notice Leo sitting on right in pic. Can you name the bass player?

At the conclusion of a recording session, Jim is shown in the control room, joking with his producer, Chet Atkins, as engineer Bill Porter packages up the master tape for sending to New York.

Below is some wonderful video of Jim Reeves at work in Studio B, recording a Cindy Walker song, "Blue Canadian Rockies." This is featured in the H&H/VoiceMasters DVD called "Jim Reeves Anthology" that Steve Brink and I released. Compare Jim's close-to-the-mic technique with that of Frank Sinatra, who stood several feet away from the microphone and sang more loudly. As I explain in my book, Jim took advantage of the "proximity effect" to enhance his already-rich baritone voice. What is also astonishing is how effortlessly Jim sings — even flipping the sheet music without missing a note, putting his hand in his pocket, and being very relaxed. Keep in mind this is a live video...not lip sync. His vibrato is so perfect, although Jim felt he didn't sustain the last note long enough, so he asked to do it over. Winnie Breast joined the background singers to replace Anita Kerr, who can be heard in the control room producing the session and interacting with Jim on the intercom.

The singers were on the far right (out of the camera range), as was the string section. You can see Louis Nunley of the Kerr group stepping in and out of the shot. Sometimes he distracted Reeves with his humor such that Jim stopped using him on sessions for awhile. They later patched things up. The strings were not visible in the video but were off on the right. The man turning around and grinning in this photo was Cecil Brower, with whom Jim sometimes played golf. He is also the man who can be seen approaching Jim after the session wraps up. The guy playing the violin third from the left, was Brenton Banks. According to Leo Jackson, Jim didn't like him and complained he played out of tune. But Anita Kerr and Chet Atkins came to his defense and thought him a good leader for the strings. Others pictured include cellist Byron Bach, and violinists Lillian Vann Hunt, Howard Carpenter and Solie Isaac Fott. As the video concludes, Leo Jackson walks into the camera shot, and you briefly see vibes player Marvin Hughes.

Note: None of the video posted on this website is from commercially released sources. I have my own independent sources and own all copyrights on videos used on this site.  Copyright 2012 by Larry Jordan. All rights reserved.


  1. Larry,

    Don't post this part, but I think you made a mistake that you need to correct. I think that is Gil Wright stepping into the frame, not Louis Nunley. You might want to check that.

    I love to watch this video. Thanks for the photos and telling who all the musicians are. I've seen their names on disographies, but it is very nice to see their photos. Also, love watching Jim record and the musicians play. Such pros! Jim looks like he is so relaxed and confindent. Seems not at all nervous. I also very much admire the Anita Kerr Singers. Love their sound. Perfect backup group for Jim. Thanks again.

  2. Thanks for your research. I look forward to reading your book. I've heard that Selby Coffeen was instrumental in Jim developing his mic technique. Has your research revealed anything along those lines? Selby is a distant relative and as a musician I'm interested in anything you've found out. Thanks!
    Dan Coffeen

  3. Jim developed the mic technique himself, based on the encouragement of his publicist, Bea Terry, who told him he was singing too loud and too harshly. She was the "woman behind the man" whom I reveal in my book. Selby was willing to let Jim get close to the mic, which the former engineer (who left RCA) was not. So Jim is even on tape publicly thanking Selby for helping him in this regard. He knew how to record soft-voiced Jim, who moved in close and took advantage of the "proximity effect" to enrich his already rich baritone.

  4. "Can you name the bass player?" Of course! It's my grandfather, Junior Huskey! :)

  5. Hi there,

    Can you please tell me who was the photographer of the photo where Chet is sitting facing the studio window? I'm looking to license it for a documentary.